Thursday, January 3, 2019

Bienville Street in the 1920s - Oil Painting

  Old buildings in the French Quarter reinvent themselves as the years go by. This original oil painting is taken from an early 1900s photo of Bienville Street, at a time when the French Quarter was in disrepair.
  Today this group of buildings houses the larger, more elegant Arnaud's restaurant. The architectural history is intact.

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Quiet on Bourbon - Original Painting

Bourbon Street in New Orleans is not always noisy and raucous.
There are those times late at night when the air is calm and the lights reflect in crystal clarity on the old pavement.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

New Orleans Cooking

Louisiana boasts some of the best seafood in the world!  Caught in the Bayou or on the shore, the seafood is fresh and prepared with that special Louisiana flare.  Crawfish are boiled with potatoes, corn on the cob, and a dash of Cajun seasoning.  Simmered all day and doled out at festivals and parties.

Shrimp are cooked until they’re pink, then scattered out in heaps on newspapers where they are shelled and devoured right on the spot.  (You forget how many pounds you’ve eaten!)  Oh, and the oysters, steamed, raw, or grilled, take your pick!

The blue crab are also delectable, however, I need more practice in cracking those shells.  All these delights would not be complete with that wonderful crunch, flaky French bread which New Orleans is famous for.  And pick your favorite hot sauce and local beer.  They round out the meal.

Last, but not least, THE GUMBO!  Everyone’s recipe is a little different, but this aromatic stew starts with the “trinity.”  Onion, celery, and green pepper are sautéed in butter.  Then flour is added to form a “roux.”  After that, you can add what you want, tomatoes, sausage, oysters, crab meat, etc., etc.  Gumbo is my favorite;  it’s like New Orleans, where many cultures add up to that unique Big Easy Flavor.
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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Midnight at the Cafe Du Monde

  On our first visit to New Orleans, we were surprised to find that this unique coffee stand is open at midnight.
  Hot coffee and "Beignets" (French-style donuts drenched in powdered sugar) were being served. What a pleasant surprise!
  Later the following day, we found out that this famous coffee stand has been in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week since 1862...only closing for Christmas day. It served rescue workers in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
  You can find Café Du Monde in the French Market at the edge of the French Quarter. 

To see more of my New Orleans art, visit

Monday, March 5, 2018

Old House on Royal Street

  In New Orleans' French quarter, on the corner of Royal and Barracks Streets, there stands a beautiful stucco townhouse. It has withstood the test of almost two centuries.
  It has undergone many minor and cosmetic changes, chimneys rebuilt, some new shutters here and there, and different colors of paint. It still retains its sense of artistic proportions and detail.
  I used an old archival photo of this building as a reference for my painting. Although I chose to change some colors and a few other details, people still recognized this home by its familiar silhouette.

To see more of my New Orleans art, visit

Monday, February 19, 2018

Evening in Uptown

  To stroll through the New Orleans "Uptown" neighborhood s a treat for the senses. The silvery green leaves of the old oaks shimmer against the dark knight sky. The soft colors of the houses are illuminated by windows and porch lights.
  But the best thing about the Uptown neighborhood is the many different architectural styles. Two-story homes with their lacey iron balconies sit comfortably next to small, highly decorated shotguns. Each house is uniquely different and beautiful.

To see more of my New Orleans art, please visit

New Orleans' Natchez Steamboat

  Since Antebellum times. there have been nine steamers named the Natchez. They have all claimed the title of Champion of the Mississippi.

   Powered by massive steam engines and the classic wheel at the stern, these powerful and dependable riverboats have won every steamboat race on the Mississippi.

To see more of my New Orleans art, visit

Friday, January 12, 2018

Arnaud's Jazz Bistro

At Arnaud's Restaurant in New Orleans French Quarter, you can enjoy classic Creole cuisine and listen to lively jazz in the Bistro. This has to be one of the best New Orleans experiences!
  What I loved about Arnaud's was the authentic interiors. Mosaic floors, plain, varnished bentwood chairs, and crystal chandeliers carry us back to 1918, the year Arnaud's was founded.
  Great care has been taken to make this a memorable and musical dining experience.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Alleyways in the French Quarter

The original settlement of New Orleans was founded by the French in 1718.
 This original section of New Orleans is The French Quarter, which remains almost unchanged.
 After two devastating fires in 1788 and 1794, the city was reconstructed in a grid pattern. Among the newly planned streets were a handful of short alleyways.

These enchanting, narrow alleys give us a sense of how the French Quarter looked two hundred years ago, and as the sun sets, one can almost imagine the famous pirate Jean Lafitte secretly moving his plunder through these dimly lit passages.

To see more of my New Orleans art, visit

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

French Quarter Carriage Tours

   One of the special delights of visiting New Orleans' French Quarter is taking a guided tour via a mule drawn carriage.
    First of all, I was surprised to find out that these shiny coated, strong "horses" were actually mules. Mules are preferred for their resistance to the heat and their stamina; not to mention they seem to be quite cooperative.
   Secondly, I was amazed by how much our guide and driver knew about the fascinating history of New Orleans. Along with the history came tales of ghosts, voodoo, yellow fever, and murder.
   And last of all, I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the architecture. Diverse styles blend together in a symphony of balconies, tall shuttered doors, and soft, Carribean colors. This American city, now almost 300 years old, is truly one of the world's most unique and charming.

To see more of my original oil paintings of New Orleans visit

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Streetcar in New Orleans

To take a streetcar ride through New Orleans' Garden District is to take a step back in time. Right in the middle of a busy, noisy city you will find yourself transported to a leafy, green paradise.

The streetcar clatters and bangs as it rolls down the middle of St. Charles Avenue. Giant oak trees spread their twisting branches over the boulevard, forming an archway, and stately mansions line the street.
    The riders are tourists, people headed for work, and college students going to class. Children lean towards the open windows, feeling the breeze against their faces. An older man talks about Katrina, and two girls dressed in band uniforms giggle.
     For a brief moment, we are a small community traveling through time, in the care of our kindly and watchful conductor.
     To see more of my New Orleans art visit

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Brass Bands in New Orleans

  You are walking through the French Quarter. You're a block from Jackson Square. You hear a rumbling, and you feel a beat. It's the raucous, joyful sound of a small brass band playing on the square.
  Dressed in T-shirts and gym shoes, this band is treating the crowd to that special New Orleans rockin' sound. Look around, and you will see people dancing in the street. They can't resist!

  To see more of my New Orleans art, go to

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Frenchmen Hotel in New Orleans

     When you enter the Frenchmen Hotel in New Orleans, you enter a world of balconies and walkways which connect three historical cottages in the neighborhood of Marigny. The rooms open onto a beautiful courtyard and pool. Everything is utterly charming from original shutters and woodwork to small brick fireplaces in almost every room.
     This is a chance to experience accommodations typical for the 19th century travelers. Of course now there are updated baths and amenities.
     This hotel is on the Historic Register and is located at 417 Frenchmen Street right in the middle of the popular local music clubs.
     To see more of my New Orleans art, go to

Monday, August 21, 2017

Frenchmen Street Funk

The nightlife on Frenchmen Street is vibrant, sassy and pure fun!  A dozen or more music clubs, like the Spotted Cat and the Red Apple painted above, wow tourists and locals alike with the authentic and unadulterated New Orleans' brand of jazz, funk, and blues.
The icing on the cake, is when a local brass band shows up and fills the street with blasting trumpets, wailing saxes and trombones, and that infectious Big Easy beat (courtesy of a couple of drums and a booming tuba).  Everyone loves it!  PS:  Frenchmen Street is just a block out of the French Quarter.
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Tuesday, July 4, 2017

New Orleans' Uptown Homes
What a display of architectural styles!! A walk through New Orleans' Uptown neighborhood is fascinating.  Each home is unique.  From "Raised Cottages" and a variety of fancy "Shotguns" to the stately "Double Galleries," each house tries to outdo its neighbor.  Pillars, shutters, frilly wrought iron, and intricate moldings all come together in surprising harmony. These beautiful old homes create the perfect fantasy as the warm evening breezes drift through the silvery leaves of the old oaks trees which surround them.
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To see more New Orleans art by Diane Millsap go to